Readers of Law and Liberty have heard—and perhaps even used—the famous phrase about free speech that is often misattributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” One wonders, though, whether this formulation actually makes much sense.
Between the breathless whispers that Judge Neil Gorsuch intends to impose either medieval Catholicism or, worse, Oxford sensibilities from the bench through the mechanism of natural law and the fear that he might otherwise glide into the legal positivism of which Justice Scalia was unreasonably accused lies another possibility: The Constitution can neither be interpreted through natural law nor reduced to positive law. It is more profitably understood as fundamental law.
It’s no secret that Clive Staples Lewis remains, over a half-century after his death, a superstar among American evangelicals. Nor is it much of a secret that American evangelicals have more than a passing interest in politics. It may therefore come as some surprise that Justin Buckley Dyer and Micah J. Watson’s new Cambridge University Press book, C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law, is one of the first book-length treatments of Lewis’ political thought. In their opening chapter Dyer and Watson provide some biographical background and attribute this dearth of scholarship to a widespread assumption that Lewis was apolitical,…
It is good to be reminded, at the fourth centenary of his death, that William Shakespeare (1564-1616) approached the relationship between law and liberty as a matter of arguing both sides of an interesting question.